Welsh Construction Remodeling, an award-winning Baltimore home improvement company that has renovated kitchens and bathrooms for decades, no longer has a license to take on new projects in Maryland, state regulators said.

Alexander Barabash turned in the license on Thursday, saying he had cut ties to Welsh and would no longer serve as its individual license holder, according to Steven Smitson, executive director of the Maryland Home Improvement Commission. Barabash did not tell regulators why he ended his relationship with the company.

Barabash could not be reached for comment.

Company president and CEO Joseph Meyerhoff II purchased Welsh, which has offices in East Baltimore, in recent years. When reached Friday, Meyerhoff said, "No comment. That's the best thing for me to do."

The company's website has been taken down.

The entranceway to Welsh's office at 3901 E. Monument is decorated with dozens of awards recognizing the company for its work going back decades.

Welsh held license No. 49, making it one of oldest home improvement contractors in Maryland, which now has 23,000 licensed individuals and businesses in home improvement.

The company celebrated its 50th anniversary in September 2011, launching a $10,000 kitchen remodeling sweepstakes and promising to make a charitable contribution to one of three area charities if contest entrants did the same. Meyerhoff is part of the philanthropic Meyerhoff family and is listed in tax documents as president of the Lyn P. Meyerhoff Foundation in Baltimore.

Last year, Remodeling magazine named Welsh as the 24th-largest full-service remodeler in the country, with $8.63 million in revenue in 2011 and projected revenue of $10 million for 2012.

In November, Welsh sold its insurance restoration division to Accord Restoration of Baltimore. Financial terms of that deal were not disclosed.

Welsh had only one complaint filed against it in the past 40 years, and the company resolved the $700 dispute with customer, according to the state home improvement commission.

The state in recent days has received several calls from homeowners and subcontractors inquiring about what is happening at the company, Smitson said. The state has not taken any disciplinary action against Welsh, he said.

Though Welsh can no longer take on new projects as of Thursday, it can finish those previously under contract, Smitson said.

Michael Vorgetts, acting commissioner of Maryland's division of occupational and professional licensing, advised consumers to "be mindful" dealing with the company.

Because Welsh had been operating with a license, customers experiencing a financial loss may be entitled to restitution under the state's Home Improvement Guaranty Fund. A customer could recover up to the amount of the loss, not to exceed $20,000.

The fund provides up to $100,000 in restitution per contractor, so if total claims exceed that amount, awards will be pro-rated, the state said.

Customers can file a complaint online at dllr.state.md.us/license/mhic or by calling 410-230-6309.

eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com

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